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227 Genoa to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe ... Read More
The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe what I think is poorly done, and will represent deal-breakers for many. After that I will describe the ship's overall philosophy, and the type of person for whom that might work well, and what you'll want to be looking out for. We boarded in Genoa on Saturday January 11. They told us to show up at 3pm, but when we did we were the only ones there; we could have boarded much earlier, and I wish we had. Here's what the MSC Grandiosa is really GOOD at: 1. Beautiful Ship. The only thing about which everyone agrees is that the ship is beautiful. What people are reacting to is largely the lighting, which is carefully attended to everywhere. Also, there are a lot of mirrors, so you frequently find yourself in an infinity tunnel. 2. Solid Shows in the Main Theater. The stage shows were SO much better than on Princess or even Celebrity. The cast gets 35 minutes to perform as many songs as they can within that night's genre (Rock, Swing, Italian Love Songs, ABBA, etc.), so you get about 10-12 great songs well-performed, with no filler. I wish I had seen all six shows. 3. Amazing Bread. Nobody is talking about the bread, which is the same everywhere on the ship. I am expecting stale buns at the buffet, and instead every single type of bread is soft, delicate, fresh, and perfectly created. I can't stop eating those little date rolls. 4. Good Dining Hall Experience. The food is very good, the menu varies, the service is professional, and they have two no-sugar-added desserts every night. Everything we had was good. Our seating was at 6:30pm and we walked in and sat down at the same table-for-three each night without delay. 5. Many Affordable Add-Ons. The Gelato Bar, the Chocolate Shop, the Crepe Stand, the Fish-and-Chips Pub, and the Steak House Brunch are all very high quality, with no crowds, and priced like Starbucks, which is very affordable if you aren't angry about nothing being included. Here is what MSC Grandiosa is really BAD at: 1. Crowds at the Buffet. The buffet area isn't much larger than on the 2,500-passenger Celebrity Summit, but there are twice as many people on board. That means a risk of severe crowding unless MSC does a LOT to spread out the crowds. Instead, MSC does the opposite, forcing people into unnecessarily small time windows. The inevitable result is enough pushing and table panic to really diminish the enjoyment of otherwise perfectly acceptable food (and great bread). 2. Nothing is included. Food stands? extra fee. Beverage package? Doesn't work at specialty restaurants. Juice at the buffet? Only at breakfast. Non-alcoholic beverage package including "hot chocolate concoctions"? The only hot chocolate concoctions on the ship are at the Chocolate Shop, and the Chocolate Shop isn't included. That's just fraud. We missed Princess's International Cafe. 3. Specialty Experiences Prohibitively Expensive. Bowling, Virtual Reality, Steak House Dinner, it's all too expensive, and you're not going to do it unless you're rich. We ate at the steak house. It was great. Brunch there is $5 for blueberry pancakes, $6 for strawberry french toast, and $7 for chicken and biscuit. But come back for dinner, and each entree is $30-$40, $55 for a T-Bone steak. The pre-fixe menu at $39 is better, but four people are going to pay $150+ and beverages when you could just eat for free in the Dining Hall. 4. Little Outdoor Space. If you want some fresh air, you have to go up to Deck 16. There's nothing like a promenade deck. You can't leave the big atrium or the galleria and get a whiff of sea air, or even a glimpse. This ship is largely an indoor experience, unless you go to the top decks. Peculiarities On Board 1. Permanent Culture Clash. Unlike lines that cater more toward a particular nationality (Princess to Americans, P&O to Brits, AIDA to Germans), MSC caters to everyone, so there is a delightful international mix on board. Announcements from the Captain or before stage shows are rendered in English, then Italian, then French, then German, then Spanish, and sometimes Chinese. At first it's impressive, then it gets old. Your excursion will be in multiple languages, too, and you end up spending a lot of time waiting for another language to finish. The biggest downside, though, is that all these cultures have different norms for things like when to eat and how to navigate lines. MSC brings to bear its Italian aesthetic of utter disconcern -- confused signage, for example, and rigid European meal times -- and pretty soon tempers fray. I'm used to Americans being really rude, but on this ship EVERY nationality took a turn demonstrating rudeness. By disconcern, I mean that dinner at the buffet is from 7pm-10pm. The buffet is OPEN from 5pm-7pm, if that's your thing, but they only serve hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and salads. The full buffet menu is for people who eat late. Meanwhile, you probably have a stage show reservation at 7:15pm , or Cirque de Soleil at 8pm, or an excursion starting early the next morning, so you REALLY NEED to the flexibility of the buffet. Hamburgers and pizza for you. And because thousands of starved people have just gotten back from their excursions, there is a huge rush at 5pm for those few burgers and pizzas. MSC is capable of handling peak crowds, but they choose not to, and that makes everything unnecessarily difficult and unpleasant on board. Tempers flare, and pretty soon your party is not having a fun time on the ship. 2. Inverted Demand Curves On most ships, people buy a cheap room, but you get quite a bit of value from upgrading to a drink package or a specialty dining package or an entertainment package. So the value shoppers go to the middle of the offering, and the poor values are the high-end experience (which is overpriced) and the bare-bones experience, which could be inexpensively embellished. It's not like that on MSC Grandiosa; it's the opposite. Yacht Club is a great value because they rescue you from the crowds and give you all the best real estate on the ship. The cheap rooms with dining hall food and water-purchased-a-la-carte are also a great value. But in the middle, if you try to buy up to a beverage package, nothing is included. If you try to purchase a specialty dining package it's expensive and inflexible. The other upsell experiences are prohibitive. As a result, the specialty dining venues are mostly empty most of the time. That puts additional pressure on the dining halls and the buffet. The end-result is that the ship has huge amounts of space that are underutilized (e.g., specialty experiences), or off-limits (e.g., Yacht Club), and that means all 6,000 passengers are crammed into what's left. That's a worse experience than you'll find on almost any other ship in the sea. 3. Contagion Incubation Factory I didn't hear much coughing when we boarded in Genoa on January 11, but by the end of the trip the whole ship was a cough chorus. On a normal ship, they flush everybody and chlorox the ship once per week. But on MSC new people join every day. That is SUPER-convenient for planning your trip, but if the ship gets sick then the contagion just keeps getting passed forward week after week as healthy passengers join and sick passengers depart. People have faulted the MSC Grandiosa for not being serious about hand sanitzer, and that is correct. There are a few sanitizer stations, but not enough for 6,000 passengers, and they run out of sanitizer, or they break, and people get frustrated, and illness happens. So Who is MSC Grandiosa For? I would recommend Grandiosa for rich people who can hide in the Yacht Club, and for poor people who can get a really good room rate and just want transport between cities and are content with buffet and dining hall food. Everybody else can probably find a ship that's better imagined than this one. Final Points For the shows on the main stage, make a reservation a couple days in advance, then line up at LEAST a half-hour before the show starts. You'll get to sit in the middle section. Everyone without a reservation will flood in after you, and they sit on the sides. There are multi-language touch-screens throughout the ship which are well-designed and make it easy to reserve shows for your party. You will need your cruise card for everything, so bring your lanyards. Cirque de Soleil gets mixed reviews. That's partly because the two shows are very different. Exentricks is disastrous and offensive -- a surreal freak show, complete with pole dancers. The audience does not clap. Cosmos is merely stupid. Both of them a "spectacle" in the circus sense. You get to see a juggler, acrobat, contortionist, and aerialist, but Cirque surrounds that basic experience with a bunch of gee-whiz-but-meaningless semiotics that will only impress the easily impressed. For example, Cosmos is not a show about "coming of age," and saying it doesn't make it so. If you go to Cirque anyway, you don't get to choose your show time until you are on board. And the seats are assigned automatically. That means when you go on board, all the best seats and even show times are taken for the first few nights. But if you choose shows near the end of your cruise, you will get the best seats and your choice of show times because passengers who would compete with you haven't boarded the ship yet. If you choose a cocktail show, those are at a different time from the dinner show. You get to grab a cocktail from the counter on the way in -- there are a couple to choose from. They are watered down. The cabins are a little tighter than on the Crown Princess or Celebrity Summit, but well-designed, well-appointed, well-lit, and highly functional. Be careful not to accidentally leave the Do Not Disturb light on -- I think that's why people are complaining that their cabin doesn't get made up. The three lights over each door mean [RED] People are in the room; [BLUE] Do not disturb; [WHITE] Please make up the room. The service levels on the ship are high. Electronic buttons on the buffet tables summon staff effectively. The cabin staff do first-rate work, as do the restaurant servers. However, whereas the Celebrity Summit assigns a permanent team of three to each dining room table, and the Crown Princess has a mixed staff, on the MSC Grandiosa it's just one guy handling all aspects of every table in his section, from serving wine to changing utensils, to scraping crumbs. That experience is a little harried, and makes the Dining Hall seem like a place to get into and out of fast. The nice thing about MSC, unlike Princess of Celebrity, is that off-duty crew are allowed anywhere on the ship, they are not confined to the bottom decks, so you get to see them. However, the staff contracts are months-longer, and the ship staff may not have been home recently; they may not have seen their family. Some of this sadness seeps into their work. On the other hand, this is not an American ship, and super-cheerful American service is not what anybody is attempting. Just something to watch for. We used Zoe quite a bit, just for laughs. I even made video of Zoe being stupid. It knows one answer to every question: "Go look it up." The purpose of Zoe, obviously, is to take the pressure off MSC's overburdened customer service personnel. But MSC will have to learn the hard way that it's easier to make the ship less confusing than to try to answer everybody's questions. For example, what are the buffet hours? You might need a few days to figure out what is available when at the buffet. The schedule is inscrutable; the signage is unclear. After a week you've got most of the ship figured out, but mostly what you've got figured out is to get on a different ship without so much unnecessary confusion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment ... Read More
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment variety, and so on. Dining area on deck 11 is crowded without place to sit, so only way to eat is to take plate outside or in a room. Automatic hand disinfect dispensers do not work in 90% of time which leads to people not being able to clean their hands and stop spreading bacterias inside buffets. This later led to many people getting sick onboard including myself and members of my family. Tables are dirty and sticky, poorly cleaned or not cleaned at which is absolutely unacceptable. Destinations vere quite nice including the weather during our winter cruise. Pizza and coffe in bars was very tasty (italian style) and that's something I would personally recommend on this ship. Generally, even though this cruise was quite cheap I would not recommend it to anyone because they are way better ships on the market. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not some other ship, other company but one thing I've learned that mostly people which are always complaining for something are writing reviews, and that's why I wanted to write this one to tell point of view from normal, not egocentric people. We embarked in Genova. Came to port on 13.00, on 13.20 were on ship, no problems at all, very smooth and easy. Getting on board we needed to photo again even though we had picture through MSC for me app. But ok, few minutes extra. Coming to main promenade and seing it all in full glory was spectacular especially that 90m LCD dome. Knowing the ship was easy since there are lcd screend everywhere showing all mandatory info. Smart lifts are doing splendid job handling over 7000 people on board and never have problem coming where you want in minutes. We had 2 interior rooms and if you are not some some guy who likes to be with himself and look all day to the harbour from your bed having room with window or balcony is absolute waste of money. There are many beautiful places to watch the see. Rooms are rather spacious, even our with 3 beds (2 from the ceiling). Bathroom is just enough in size and have everything needed. Stewards (especially Fillipines) are fantastic, whenever you leave room they tidy up and leave something new for you. ZOE, oh Zoe, I've read lot's of bed stuff on reviews but now I know that that there is no problems with ZOE but with the people using her hehehe. If you want to chat with someone chat with you wife, or Fillipines crew, ask ZOE what is she designed to do, show you around the cabin, tell you where to eat, where is everything you need, weather, time, to power tv on and off and lots of things which she does great. FOOD - there is much to tell about food too but some say that it's not good to comment tastes so I won't, I will just tell that we were almost always on Marketplace buffet restaurant with enormous choices for everyone. Place is huge (almost all 15th floor) so we could always find place to sit with no problems. We were very satisfied wih variety, quality and taste. There are breakfast, lunch, dinner times but you can always come and find something to eat. Watter, tea and coffee available free whole day, juice just for breakfast. You can fill bottles, no one makes it a problem. Didn't used much other restaurants so cannot comment it. ENTERTAINMENT - there is always something to do on ship, daily program is rather big, if you are with kids there are also whole floor for them. My kid loved adrenaline park and walked on rope for hours around the ship. Also there is watter park working so even January there were kids going through the slides. There are few pools (watter 28 celsius) and jacuzzi's (35 celsius)... Indoor pool is rather small. Arcade games are 1,5-2€ but everything else is extreme expensive (VR, formula, bowling etc). There is Circus and we watched paid show Excentrix. It started awful and was thinking OMG what is this and I why I paid for this but then in 10mins real show started and is something worth seing. On other side of the ship there is Theatre for little under 1000 people, every night other show in 3 times. I suggest everyone to book all shows in front and to go see them all. They are fantastic. We were trilled with all of them. All staff is very friendly and helpful. There is always some stuff that tried to ruin your cruise but the way you handle them counts. First when we came to ship and got lagguage I saw that my bag was completely broken, went to reception to report it and got refunded with no problem. Second is that we all got sick with high fever and used all out tablets and went to medical center, waited for 2 hours to get info that there is no more paracetamol pill on board (which I thing is unacceptable) so take with you everything you might need since that is closed ecosytem and viruses can spread fast. Third is we couldn't go to Marceilles due to strikes so we went to Toulous, MSC organized whole day free ships and buses to center so it was great. Ship is gigantic and the only place where is rather crowded it buffet restaurant and promenade after theater shows. If you don't like crowd take yacht club experience and go to late night theater shows. Every day there are some sales on promenade so maybe you will find some great deals. MSC for me is app with some great potencial but with some major problem. It's great to have free on app chat through the app without having to buy internet packet but it doesn't always work. Also in port you cannot use your mobile data and been connected to ship wifi so you need to shuffle. Yes, remember to turn off mobile data when setting sail. Diembarkation was a charm. Evening before got stickers for lagguage, got time and meeting point and went out in mather of minutes. Having it all summed up it was fantastic experience for all 6 of us with nothing more to wish for. 5/5 stars from us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, ... Read More
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. However, after boarding in Genoa, there was a letter in the cabin advising that the two ports I was most looking forward to visiting were not able to be visited because of sea conditions, and as a result, the itinerary was changed so that there was an extra day spent in Civitavecchia (the port of Rome), and port stops in Ajaccio (Corsica) and Palma de Mallorca were arranged. I arrived in Genoa by train about two hours before the posted time of embarkation but I was able to board the ship and go to my cabin. Both embarkation and disembarkation at Genoa were among the best that I have experienced. The walk between the cruise terminal and railway station is not very long, but can involve some steps and narrow pathways. Compared to other cruises that I have been on, this was the first cruise where the passenger composition changed at each port. This in itself was not a problem, but it meant that each afternoon from about 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm there were 5-6 announcements in multiple languages over the loudspeaker for new passengers to attend the mandatory lifeboat sessions. There must be a better way (perhaps an electronic bracelet) to get passengers to attend the sessions without the constant loud reminders. I was disappointed by the lack of information about the ports that were being visited. The information given was only about MSC shore excursions, and there wasn't anything about public transport, maps or other features that would assist those not who opted not to participate in MSC shore excursions. Prior to sailing I had planned my activities for each port, but when the itinerary changed, it was not so easy to plan for the time in the new ports. I purchased the standard internet package and found that the internet speed met my needs. However, the cost of the internet package is quite expensive and it would be worth investigating other alternative means of accessing the internet. The ship was only a month old and so all the furnishings were in pristine condition. My cabin was an interior studio, the cabin at the lower end of those available. I was travelling alone and the cabin was adequate for my needs. Given the very limited floor space and the fact that one side of the bed was against the wall, I think that it would be unsuitable for more than one person to occupy the cabin. The sailing was over the Christmas period and the ship was completely full with many family groups and numerous nationalities. The buffet was very busy and crowded at breakfast and particularly at lunchtimes. On Christmas Eve, the buffet was not open for dinner as a special meal was arranged for after midnight instead, but this was poorly communicated. I appreciated the presence of a Catholic chaplain being on board during this cruise to lead Mass on Christmas Day and other days. Overall, the size of the ship, the constant change in the composition of the passengers, and the lack of activities such as port venue information sessions and trivia sessions made it feel more like being on a train rather than on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good Italian fare with hotdogs and burgers always a favourite for the kids and grown up's alike. The big let down for me was the standard of food in the restaurants in the evening as I feel the best offerings should be for the evening meals as you look forward to dressing up on formal nights but the food was dressed down. The buffet in the evening always provided choice in a cafeteria atmosphere if you wanted to battle the crowd at main meal times. My outside cabin was very adequate for a solo traveller but space would be limited if I was to share with a friend, you would need to be extremely close to somebody to get on with each other in the area provided in my outside cabin, the cabin itself provided a safe and a mini bar which in my opinion was good although the prices a little high for the drinks and snacks provided in the mini bar, my package included free mineral water but the mineral water provided in my cabin was charged to my final account at 2.95 Euros a bottle... Only free in public areas so soon figured out how to play this one.... As for the entertainment onboard I thought the cruise staff worked hard to entertain the passengers throughout the day and I enjoyed their hard work, as for the cast members they also worked hard but shows and sets were were very limited and short, also noticed that since the ship had been stretched the show lounge still only accommodated a limited amount of people during show times which then led to people sitting on stairways obstructing the exit ways which led to some argy bargy at times ? . Could not comment on shore excursions as I did not book any but pleased to see the ship did offer free buses to the port gates were you could not walk through the port area. As for the overall service I found to be very good with a good mix of crew that could speak English although the ship is geared up to our Italian and European friends onboard which is what you have to expect from an Italian cruise company... also be aware that with all the different European cultures onboard you will not always see the British style of courtesy during busy public times.. you can make your own mind up on this one. Would I go back.... Yes if the price is right and the itinerary was good although, I would prefer a little more quality and therefore pay a little more. Also be aware that if you are not a smoker some public areas inside the ship are set aside for passengers to smoke so you will need to avoid these areas if this would upset you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our ... Read More
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our cabin attendant Samma greeted us whenever we met in the corridor, and he always asked if everything was fine with us. He also checked on our cabins a few times a day to ensure our cabins were tidy and spotlessly clean. We exchanged small talks and got to know that Samma was working on a cruise for 7 years, and he is still enjoying his job and meeting new people around the world. We dined at the Purple Crab Restaurant almost every evening and sat at table 331. Whenever we entered the same group of waiters (Robert, Melvin, etc.) always welcome us with a big smile. They never rush us and were very patient when taking our orders. Especially, Deborah, she was extremely attentive and always knew what we need without being asked. Thank you again to those I've mentioned, and we wouldn't forget your excellent hospitality! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in errors,incompetence,and refusal to own their mistakes. Embarkation for YC, is done in a private area. The other classes were in a area were disorganization seemed to reign. We were processed and on ship within 20 minutes of our arrival at Genoa terminal. We were escorted by a butler along with two other families. Upon boarding a female security officer said stop. I asked if there was a problem, she stated there was an issue with my card. The butler who was there to assist, was MIA. When I asked what the problem was, she put her hand in my face and yelled I would have to wait for management to fix the problem. I told our butler who looked nervous,to please help fix this. He then stated I was YC and they would handle it later. No apology for the assault or humiliation. There was no issue for the card and I received an apology from the staff captain five days later after I repeatedly asked to speak to a manager and they reviewed the tape. No further gesture of good will ever came nor would I deign to ask for one. Despite temptation, I kept an open mind about MSC. The positives of YC were they escorted you on and off the boat,avoiding long and often unorganized lines. They also had an awesome lunge where one could have a drink of choice,high tea, or continental breakfast. There were always nibbles or sweets laid out. The YC restaurant,the food was very mixed to poor. Breakfast had nice items,but were often cold or flavorless. This included eggs Benedict that were cold and hard. On formal night, we got escortgoes that had a butter crust and no garlicky soft butter sauce. Steak was often over done despite requests for medium or rare. Most other dishes lacked any form of seasoning. The main buffet had better and more flavorful food. This was despite it being a blood sport to get food with people pushing or cutting the line. The pizza was excellent(even by NYC standards) and it was cool to watch them make fresh mozzarella. Service in the YC was either smothering or poor. If one went to get a cup of coffee in the morning , a staff member would insist to carry it to your room. One day we arrived at 1505, five minutes after lunch finished on the YC outside deck. We were told sorry, it was closed and we were on our own. The rooms were decent and mini bar was fully stocked. However, if a blow dryer was needed it had to be asked for.. The ship had limited trivia games or other non musical activities. This can be attributed to the multiple main languages on the ship,which was a positive and fun thing. We did not take any excursions,from the ship so have no opinion on these. the ship is HUGE,maybe too big. However,they have any awesome beer bar,called Top of the Mast. Great beer selection and very friendly staff. Disembarkation was easy and quick. My only issue was getting a refund from my card in euros instead of the money being put back on the card. MSC has potential but needs to work out some service issues. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From start to finish I can’t fault this ship or MSC as a company, from the staff, cleanliness, food , entertainment staff the list goes on it was 10/10. Room was large, we had a balcony ,sofa lovely comfortable bed seriously was so ... Read More
From start to finish I can’t fault this ship or MSC as a company, from the staff, cleanliness, food , entertainment staff the list goes on it was 10/10. Room was large, we had a balcony ,sofa lovely comfortable bed seriously was so hard coming back home to reality. Can’t wait to book our next cruise with msc, hopefully it’s Grandiosa again.. but I would recommended more options on ports to stop off at, My partner and I both agreed it was the best food we have ever eat in a “hotel” it was great to be able to watch the chefs make so many different dishes from pasta to pizza ! They even made fresh mozzarella daily which was great to watch. Staff entertainment was brillent, they had great dancing classes on daily as well as makeup and skin care advice. Thankyou for the best holiday MSc will be back Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was ... Read More
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was expecting small staterooms, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in our interior stateroom. Another review mentioned there not being a hairdryer, there is one. It isn't in the washroom though, it was in the drawer in front of the mirror in the main room. -Staff were friendly and competent. -Food was overall good (did not try out the specialty restaurants, but they looked good). The buffet was decent overall. The pizza was passable, but not good. I only mention because others have said it was great, those people are crazy. The sit down dinners were pretty good, nothing fantastic but decent for sure. -The shows were overall good to excellent with a good variety. -The two different Cirque du Soleil shows that were both fantastic. We did one with a cocktail and one with dinner. Both were very much worth it. The Bad: -Everything closes early except the bars and the casino. All the pools/hot tubs, including the interior ones, close at 2000 (8 pm) same with the spa. Meaning that if you go off the ship, by the time you get back, and have the early dinner (1830) there is little to no time to enjoy those amenities. Due to this my wife and I booked the thermal spa package, but always had to rush in order to get in 1/2 to 1 hour of time in the spa. Having these open until 2200 (10 pm) would be much better. There is litereally noting to do unless you are going to the shows. -The casino reeks of cigarettes. They have a smoking section in the casino, but it is not physically separated from the rest of the casino, so the whole place smells. -No front view for us mere mortals who are not yacht club level. Literally not a single public space to see out the front of the ship unless you are spending the big bucks. -Could have just been due to it being a bit cooler, but it was a missed opportunity that they did not show movies or anything on the giant screen outside. Would have been a fun activity to lounge around and watch a movie while snuggled under a blanket eating some popcorn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We board on the brand new MSC Grandiosa on November the 23th. We've been on two more cruises with MSC, both on MSC Preziosa and we loved the experience. I've never thought I'll give a 4star review on a cruise, but there are ... Read More
We board on the brand new MSC Grandiosa on November the 23th. We've been on two more cruises with MSC, both on MSC Preziosa and we loved the experience. I've never thought I'll give a 4star review on a cruise, but there are some things that MSC needs to know, and I hope very much that they read those reviews. First of all, the embarkation and disembarkation was perfect as always, very fast and easy, It took us 20' tops to get in the ship. The cabin (deck 9, fantastica balcony cabin) is great smaller than MSC Preziosa. I guess they got the cabins smaller so they can have more of them. That does not mean that the cabin was not comfortable, but it lacked a bigger closet. Zoe is not working most of the times, it's a pitty to have it there, just remove it and save us from the trouble to speaking in something that always reply ''please can you repeat your question''. The staff is great and always have been. Especially the waitors and the people cleaning our rooms are always smilling and they are so polite that it kills me to see people behaving badly to them. I believe that the company should also protect the ladies workers from creepy old men that trying to make a move. Our waitor, Jean from Madagascar was an excellent example of what a great waitor is: polite, smilling, always remembering what we have ordered. We loved him and we thank him for making this experience great for us. The food is great. It is better that MSC Preziosa. I loved everything in the Purple Crab restaurant and also in the buffet. People saying that the food is no good...I dont know where you got that, but there is something for every taste. Pizza, pasta, burgers, hot dogs, thai food, indian food, chesses and hams, salads, breads, healthy options, options for vegetarian, everything was there! The new system with the elevators turned out to be amazing. We never had to wait for one. We got one shore excursion in Italy and we thought it was great. The leading lady really did her job absolutely amazing. We were in a group of Italian and English speaking. There was a group of French people too, and they keeped pressuring her to speak to them in french. Although she tried to explain a lot of times, they still insisted. She did not gave in, she still answered a few qyestions in french, but not speaking to them and explaining (she knew very well french). This is what a professional looks like. Last year, to a terrible excursion in Malaga, we also picked a German English group and our tour guy decided it was a great idea to speak in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese! He totally ruined our excursions. The design of the ship... Well I know that MSC is very proud of it, and it is a great ship but my dislikes and one of the reasons that I am putting a 4star review were: 1. The buffet. I hated the colors that they picked for the buffet. The buffet seemed very clistophobic and dark. The Aztec in MSC Preziosa is very bright and sunny and we were dissapointed. Especially the part in the back side of the ship is awful, you think you are eating in a factory. 2. What is going all with all the shops?? I know MSC is winning money but really, we dont need 1000 boutiques. You should have more public spaces as bars and lounges. 3. The ''main'' bar. Oh Safari Lounge, how I have missed you.... You can not have a bar named main bar when there are sheats for 50 people there. Cut 2 boutiques and make your main lounge bigger so people can enjoy the entairtaining at the (for which you need a reservation) night. The entertainment. Where do I start...? First of all, the theatre shows . WHO is designing these shows?? Cause they were are medium to horrible. The dancers and singers are absolutely great, the shows themselves were not. Even the italian night....in an italian ship...no! Not good. The entertainers in the rest of the ship...also not great. Most of the times they were talking to themselves and dancing with one another. I dont want them to pressure me, but there were people that wanted to dance and they didnt seem to care. The parties though, were great! Great job, the 80s party was amazing, the entertainers did a great job there, you absolutely killed it MSC. One of the best parties I have ever been. But the biggest problem of all, mine and lots of the other passengers that I ve talked with, were the screaming children and babies everywhere. I get that you dont want to parent in your vacations. So, either leave your kid home, other hire a nanny to take care of it. But when I am trying to eat in the fancy restaurant, and a 3 year old next to me is watching Pepa the Pig, and everybody listens to this songs, I am sorry I have a big problem. In the theaters, babies and small children should not be allowed. It is not a place for a baby! They get bored, they scream and they are ruining everybodys show. Also, in the bars. I cannot tell you how many times I couldnt find a seat because the couches had sleeping babies on them. MSC, you cannot fix the parenting out there, and frankly this is not your job. But put restrictions to where, and what times, babies and kids are allowed. Not in the theatre (from an age down) not in the bars after midnight. You have no idea how many people were having a problem with that, even people with their kids (who they were actually taking care of). Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After reading so many negative reviews of the MSC Preziosa, our entire family felt that we have to share our great onboard experience. We boarded the ship in Genova, a quick and effective process which was started even earlier than ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews of the MSC Preziosa, our entire family felt that we have to share our great onboard experience. We boarded the ship in Genova, a quick and effective process which was started even earlier than announced. The rooms were also ready early and our cruise cards perfectly prepared in the cabins. The Preziosa is a big ship but well designed and the signage is well done so it's fairly easy to get around. Food is absolutely plentiful on the cruise, it is quite impossible to stay hungry. Meals are offered pretty much all day, 20 hours a day. The sit-down meals may offer only three courses, as some people complained, but if one wishes, you can order several starters, main dishes or desserts, so basically you are almost having a buffet type of meal, only it is served to the table. The waiting staff has been a particular delight on the cruise, both at our designated table and in the bars we visited during the cruise. The gym is well equipped in the front of the ship and although you are asked to spend no more than twenty minutes on a machine, the wait is never too long. The pools and jacuzzis can be busy on beautiful, sunny sea days but there is many of them so no long waits there either. The evening entertainment is varied and especially the gala night performances are quite spectacular. We were a group of adults but children onboard seemed to be enjoying all the animation and entertainment on offer, they were even made part of one of the evening shows in the theater. Yes, the shore excursions and port transfers are quite pricey and we didn't take any of those but that's true of every cruise and every cruise line. The disembarkation was well explained both personally if someone attended the information session but also in the daily programme. The process itself flowed really smoothly. The billing was also transparent and without any issues. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise with MSC Preziosa and would recommend the ship wholeheartedly. Our cruise took us from Genova to Malaga, Casablanca, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille and back to Genova with three in-between days on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross ... Read More
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross the Atlantic. Problem occured upon reaching Puerto Rico. US Customs was understaffed and it took us over 2 hours standing in line to make it to our excursion. Customs wanted everyone including the crew to come off the ship before they would let anyone back on. It was a gong show including fist fights among angry passengers when they opeded the gate at 6 pm to let people back on. Zero organization from the staff to keep it from looking like a cattle drive. Entertainment on the ship was very hit and miss. Fantastic singer in the atrium every night. Shows in the theatre had a bit too much opera content for some tastes but other shows were entertaining. Never got a hot meal in the dining room in the evening. The french onion soup was guaranteed to be hot. Mains were lukewarm at best. Breakfast in the dining room sometimes took well over an hour. We understood this was an international clientele aboard, but the maitre'd would usually seat you with anyone and it usually wound up being with people you had no common language with. Its very awkward to be sitting across from a couple you can't communicate with and doesn't enhance the meal for either pair. One day we went to the specialty pizza joint and ordered a pizza with sausage on it for which we paid around $19. It arrived with cut up hot dog weiners on it! Never seen such a cheap ingredient on a pizza before. Ship is beautiful. Huge amount of wasted spaces devoted to the spa area and then the gym is tiny. Never a bike or treadmill free. Shower with glass doors in the cabin was a nice touch. For a 19 day repositioning cruise we would have expected a couple of trivia quizzes per day but there was never more than one per day. You really had a sense that the entertainment staff would rather be doing anything else than entertaining us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was our 12th cruise and the 6th with MSC. We arrived to Genova by train and walked to the cruise terminal (around 10 minutes walk). 15 minutes later, we were in our Cabin. Even though the ship was full and most of the passengers ... Read More
It was our 12th cruise and the 6th with MSC. We arrived to Genova by train and walked to the cruise terminal (around 10 minutes walk). 15 minutes later, we were in our Cabin. Even though the ship was full and most of the passengers embarked in Genova, later afternoon the terminal was almost empty - so everything was smooth and fast. Our cabin was clean and nice, well maintained and cleaned 2 times daily. MSC gets a huge amount of complaints by American and Canadian cruisers. The facts (in my personal perspective) : Food can be more than hamburgers, fries and other fried things. If you cannot recognize anything else as food, stay with carnival cruises. If you interested of the European and Italian cuisine, you will love MSC's kitchen. Onboard expenses : The best option is to book and pay everything in advance on the MSC's website. The best example is the photography. If you buy photos onboard ,the small photo is $20, the large photo is $30 each. If you prepay online, you pay $177 for 100 photos - so it's $1.77 for both sizes. All other expenses, like gratuity, SPA and beauty, excursions - all of them 20-30% cheaper in advance. Our itinerary was changed once. There was a storm in Ibiza, so the ship skipped this port, we were at sea on that day and docked at Palermo, Sicily next day. About other cruisers on board... When Moses wrote about the Tower of Babel, I think he was thinking of the future cruises onboard with MSC. Hundreds of nations speaks hundred different languages. Sooo many Italian cruisers onboard. You should love their vibrant attitude or you will suffer every day on the cruise sip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
US: We are a couple in mid-fourties with an 8 year old daughter. First time cruising on a bigger ship, so YC was to us the only way to go... We boarded in Genova, it was the or one of the last Med cruises of the season, but the service ... Read More
US: We are a couple in mid-fourties with an 8 year old daughter. First time cruising on a bigger ship, so YC was to us the only way to go... We boarded in Genova, it was the or one of the last Med cruises of the season, but the service all over was not hurt by the ending contracts. Due to an extremely intense professional time I needed first and most of all relaxation and recuperation. And I got even more than hoped or anticipated. The very check-in experience (11am already!) was flawless from th the valet parking to being taken by our butler into the check-in area and first bubblies... There were apparently only three cabins boarding with us und everything went as smooth as it was possible. No hassle, no sweat (that’s difficult to me) no worries. The cabin was the “square” cabin so we had more than enough space for the following 8 days. I will not go into details about the cabin as this has been described many many times. First we went to explore the ship, while not too crowded yet and made of course the mandatory buffet stop, which was to be our last one as the catering in YC was superb. It also was one of the few strolls outside the enclave as the amount of people in the outside was too much for me; and surprisingly for my wife as well, surprisingly because she is not as quickly overwhelmed by crowds as I am. Our butler was Franco (Tien Wing) and we hit the jackpot as he and his service were impeccable, as was the cabin stewards, Anthony. We only took a short shopping stroll in Palermo, a horrible excursion in Majorca, which was the only negative of the cruise, so i cant really rate the excursions side. What I can talk about though are the fabulous people going over the top to fulfill every wish and craving. ie when the kids wanted pizza and fries, one of the bar people went to fetch it from the buffet, another time in the top sail lounge a butler suggested a chocolate milkshake that he had to go and get at venchi (5 min walk minimum). We were accompanied everywhere, because Franco always insisted on doing so. My daughter “fell in love” with Michelle, working in TSL, she actually became almost her personal assistant for the week, as the love was mutual. Drink service was quick and we even got the best of service when we started “partying” every night until 2-4 am on the one pool deck (5 out of six in our group of fellow travelers were smokers) even though the outside bar closed around 1030pm. I don’t think i ever drank as good a White Russian as I had on the Divina. We never heard a no, we never had to wait for any sitting or order, we never felt that things could get better. Demarcation was a breeze with franco assisting 8pm to the trunk of our car (which was waiting just outside the ship) and so.... ....booked a cruise of 12 days departing Miami on the 28th of February on YC of course....... that should say it all——-144 days more to wait....... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were to meet 2 couples from another country and have a celebration sail. First the bad... Unhelpful call center Had a complication pre-cruise. 10-15 calls (on hold 30-50 minutes each time) to courteous but unhelpful call ... Read More
We were to meet 2 couples from another country and have a celebration sail. First the bad... Unhelpful call center Had a complication pre-cruise. 10-15 calls (on hold 30-50 minutes each time) to courteous but unhelpful call center. Was told continuously to call back and ask for supervisor. I did to no avail. Dysfunctional website Tried solving via email online. Process online had a dead link. So no go. Tried checking in on website. Link inoperable Now the good... Received an email 2 weeks later resolving the main issue (charged $1900 for change in reservation that never happened). Received an email 2 days prior to sailing saying that we had been upgraded to yacht club status with a suite to die for. When we boarded we were amazed. Priority boarding and elevator usage. A butler met us and escorted us to our private yacht club area room. Concierge was exceptionally available and helpful. Lounge area and bar were convenient. Pool area was lovely. Private dining room was beautiful. Food was exceptional. Wait staff friendly and efficient. Would only recommend this line if you can secure yacht club status. Otherwise, public areas and dining areas were very crowded. Many languages spoken so hard to converse with new acquaintances, etc. Don’t know how we got so lucky, but now we’re spoiled! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the ... Read More
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the sun, the temp was 33c the day we travelled. Then unceremoniously put onto a tender to embark. The ship looked really great. We have sailed with MSC 7 times before and have never been disappointed Yes I have sailed before: RCI, Cunard, NCL etc...So I can say that I am more excited by the design and styling of the MSC fleet. Than any other cruise line we have sailed. Every direction you look, you will see vibrant colour and sweeping curves with very intelligently use of coloured lighting to enhance your visual pleasures. The staircases are bejewelled with glass crystals to all the treads. The design of the performance stages in the concierge areas, are servicing the evening with live soothing music from a pianist or a full band. We arrived in our room (invalid) and as expected it was sumptuous, I was well pleased. It had a well fitted bathroom to service my needs. The food as always is superb with loads of variety of all different cultures. I did not use any speciality restaurants, but we did frequent the main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we did do 'tiffin' in mid afternoon for coffee and cake in the buffet! We were never disappointed by the super service we received, we had coffee delivered every morning to the room 0715hrs, they also gave us a warm croissant with it. We never go on the excursions as we have to travel differently so we generally go independently. All the ports in the med are super to visit, there is always something for everyone! Barcelona, Rome, Genoa Cannes....does it come any better? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was that it lacked the WOW factor we had come to expect with other cruise lines in terms of food quality, quantity, and presentation. No ice sculptures, no food carvings, no beautifully decorated cakes or other food items, no sumptuous variety each day, no helpful, friendly, smiling wait staff, etc. Later, we realized that our initial experience with the buffet was “the norm.” The buffet the entire week lacked variety, not to mention a lack of cleanliness and good customer service. The food was ok, but not delicious. My husband actually lost 4 pounds on the cruise and I stayed the exact same. When does that happen?! Meat at the buffet was consistently overcooked and there was not much variety in the food items, regardless of the meal. The meat at the special carving station was often very fatty. And one of the carvers cleaned his knife on the food counter each time he was at the carving station! The food staff didn’t bother draining the grease from the bacon and sausage links at breakfast - instead, they just sat in 1/2 inch of grease each morning. The food offerings at the buffet were much the same for every meal, both lunch and dinner. The bread, fruit, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and salad were IDENTICAL every day. Only about 8 new dishes arrived each day throughout the entire buffet, but even then, several dishes were the same as the prior day with one minor exception. For instance, one night a pasta dish had a tomato sauce and the next night the same pasta dish had a white cream sauce. The buffet was late in opening several nights while people streamed in and were greeted with cellophane still covering the food racks and no food in sight. One night I asked a staff member about the opening time and he said it opened at 7:00. I showed him on the cruise planner where it said 6:45 and that was why people were showing frustration that it wasn’t already open. He replied that it opened at different times every night. I asked him if the cruise planner was wrong. He replied, “OK, maybe it’s 6:45 then” but just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. A few minutes later, one of the dining room supervisors came through, noticed that nothing was open, and started shouting loudly at the staff behind the food counter - “Where’s the food? You’re late!” The buffet opened at 7:05 instead of 6:45 that night. Incidentally, the buffet dinner was NOT scheduled to open at different times each day - it was ALWAYS scheduled to open at 6:45. The desserts were very dry and lacking in variety. They tasted like they were purchased and then brought on the ship rather than made-from-scratch on site like the previous cruise lines do that we’ve used. I didn’t eat dessert the entire cruise as a result of the dryness and pre-fab taste. MSC’s site said they offered complimentary tea during lunch and dinner in the dining room, but they didn’t. It wasn’t even available for purchase. You either drank water in both the buffet and dining room or you had to purchase alcohol or a soft drink. Drinking glasses were extremely short and small. They were the same height as a coffee cup/mug. Thus, it took more trips to refill them, OR you had to fill multiple glasses in the beginning so you didn’t have to return for refills. One ice machine in the buffet was broken the entire week. We had to walk around to the other side each time to get ice. On other cruise lines we’ve been on, an ice cream station was available all day to ALL passengers. On MSC, the ice cream station was only for customers who paid a premium to become Yacht Club members. “Regular” passengers had to purchase ice cream if they wanted it. The pizza bar offered a small variety of very thin, rubbery, meatless pizza. Only one version had meat, and it contained about 8 total slices of pepperoni. So, each slice of pizza had ONE slice of pepperoni on it. The SAME pizza was offered ALL week with no variety. Each time we selected a plate or coffee cup in the buffet, we had to go through several items to find a clean one. Even the “clean” plates had a smudgy film on them indicating hot water had not been used to clean them. This smudgy film could also be felt, not just seen. Many mugs were not only dirty, but they actually had substantial food particles in them as though they hadn’t been through the dishwasher at all or it wasn’t working properly. One morning, I went through 4 extremely dirty mugs before finding a 5th one that was clean. I showed a wait staff the 4 dirty ones. No explanation and no apology. Another time, we sat next to a table in which multiple glasses of wine were purchased. The passengers were aghast at the cloudiness of the wine glasses and talked about how unclean they looked. My husband saw the head food officer one day and spoke with him about the dirtiness of the dishes. The next day the plates looked/felt very clean for the first time! We still had to go through several mugs before finding a clean one, but at least the plates seemed clean after 3 days of dirty ones. One buffet wait staff who was carrying a tray of silverware wrapped in cloth napkins, accidentally dropped a set on the floor. He bent down, picked it up, placed it back on the pile on the tray, and delivered it to the food station for people to use! I unwrapped my silverware napkin at one meal to find fresh food stains all over it. It was completely dirty and unsightly. They had wrapped up silverware in a USED napkin. Picture attached. One hand sanitizing machine at one buffet entrance was out of order the entire week. Both machines were positioned touching the wall (and therefore easy to overlook), rather than out in the open where people could see and use them. Obviously, no one could use the broken one all week. And hardly anyone used the working one that was next to the wall because it was out of the way. Not a good idea for cleanliness standards when you sometimes hear about hundreds of passengers on some cruise ships getting sick because of unsanitary standards. At the buffet, salt and pepper shakers weren’t available on each table. In fact, salt AND pepper were only on about 25% of the tables in the room. We consistently had to borrow them from other tables. We met one wait staff in the buffet who was friendly. When we commented on the lack of cleanliness and hygiene we had experienced, he told us that he was Marriott-trained and that the lack of standards on this ship bothered him immensely. This was his first tour with MSC and he said he wasn’t returning to this cruise line once his current tour was up with this ship. He just couldn’t handle the lower standards he was forced to accept. He said the non-British Europeans rarely complained because they were used to those standards, but the British and other native English speaking passengers DID complain because they were used to much higher food/service/cleanliness standards. But he said not much is done if/when there are complaints because there aren’t enough native English speakers to make a difference. He stated that many English speakers preferred the dining room to the buffet because of cleanliness issues. However, in the dining room, we saw a waiter take unused silverware from 2 tables (after the passengers had left their tables) and load them back into the silverware receptacle for another use! One morning at breakfast in the dining room, I watched a waitress bite and chew her fingernails the ENTIRE time I ate! She wasn’t very busy because apparently her main job was busing the tables. Occasionally however, she took drink orders and brought people their drinks. I don’t know if she washed her hands in the back before filling those drink orders each time, but I know she did NOT wash them before pouring coffee and hot water for several people - because the coffee and hot water pots were at her station which was within my view. She went directly from gnawing her nails to pouring coffee and handling the coffee cups! I finally told a man in a white staff jacket about it (who said he was a manager) and he asked for my room number. We never heard anything about the complaint. This is merely a personal preference rather than a complaint: Coke products were not available for sale on board - only Pepsi products. Our experience with the Excursions: We were EXTREMELY disappointed that the two complimentary city tour excursions that were offered with our cruise did not materialize once we boarded. They were listed on the website as “included excursions” but the excursion staff on board said they had never heard of free excursions. For some reason, they couldn’t pull up their own website for our particular cruise dates in order for us to show them where it said they were complimentary. We initially chose not to pay for internet access because the customer service desk on the ship said texting was NOT included with the $90 price. We thought that was strange but believed the staff person who told us that. Since we didn’t pay for internet access, we couldn’t pull up the site ourselves to prove our case. We didn’t find out until 4 days into the cruise (halfway point) that texting WAS included in the price! We ended up paying FULL PRICE for internet access for only 4 days so we could text. (No discount or pro-rated amount!) We were then able to pull up MSC’s website, but since our cruise was already underway, the site didn’t even list our cruise. Therefore, we had absolutely no proof that the site stated clearly that those two particular excursions were free. We were VERY upset by this bait and switch tactic and ended up PAYING for one of the excursions that was supposed to be free. EXTREMELY frustrating and disappointing. But how do you prove it once that part of the site is taken down? We were verbally told by the excursion staff TWICE that one of the excursions we paid for was canceled because of “weather,” but then the cancellation letter we received in our room the night prior said it was cancelled because of lack of participation. Which reason was true? Some of the staff in the Excursions Department were quite rude. One lady told my husband that they were closed when he arrived to ask a quick question. He said he just had a quick question that couldn’t wait until they reopened. She repeated insistently, rudely, and loudly that they were closed. Another time, we heard the same Excursion lady tell a passenger, “Can’t you see I’m talking?” when the passenger asked her a question. My husband later spoke to some British ladies who had a similar experience. They had asked the same lady in Excursions for a pen to fill out a form and were told they were closed and to come back at 5:00. One of the excursions we paid for was a trip into Marseille, France. The air conditioning on the bus either wasn’t working or the driver just didn’t turn it on. It was MUCH too hot to ride on a bus with 50 people without air conditioning and windows that didn’t open. It was stifling until we reached our destination. Same experience on the return trip. Two excursion buses we were on had signs prominently posted on them that they had WiFi. We were looking forward to free texting on the bus (that was before we paid $90 for the last 4 days!). However, one bus did NOT have it at all. The other one did, but because their certificate had expired, they officially didn’t have it either. Our experience with Customer Service/WOW Factor: A luggage handler on the dock prior to boarding asked for a tip to put our luggage on the ship. There was no WOW factor when we entered the ship or walked into the main atrium. The stairs were glittery and the back wall of the elevator facing the atrium was glass, but that was all. The furniture looked tired, bland, and uninviting. Nothing like the WOW experiences we’ve had before with other cruise lines/ships. The staff were very functional, but not friendly. Many of the ship staff seemed bothered to help guests. They were happy to ask if you wanted to buy any drinks. And they were good about quickly cleaning the tables. But they never smiled, chatted, or seemed welcoming or engaging like they are on other cruise lines. On a scale of 1 to 10, we have rated “hospitality/friendliness” on previous cruise lines as a 10. It was a 3 or 4 on MSC. We met a couple from Istanbul on the ship and chatted with them at length. They were also quite disappointed with this cruise line, having sailed on others. They commented on the poor customer service, the lack of WOW factor, the worn pool towels, the carpet in their room that needed to be replaced, and the unfriendliness of the staff. They agreed that this ship would rate about a 4 overall on a scale of 1 to 10. We met a couple from Canada who had sailed on about 25 cruises. They also agreed with our assessment and commented that the standards on this ship were extremely relaxed. We were all happy with the price we paid, but agreed that the standards were not what other cruise lines offered for a similar price. Another couple we met had paid a premium price to be Yacht Club members. They were very happy with their food, service, amenities, etc. (which were different than what “regular” passengers experienced). When we compared prices though, they realized they had paid OVER DOUBLE what we did for that better experience. We told them we had experienced great food, service, amenities, etc on other cruise lines WITHOUT having to pay OVER DOUBLE for it! The cruise planner mentioned a 4-D cinema. Since we thought we’d like to watch a movie, we asked where the cinema was. No one knew. And they didn’t know which movie was playing, or when. We asked a total of 6 staff members at/around the Customer Service desk. We finally went to Deck 16 to find out ourselves, and it turned out that the “cinema” was a motorcycle arcade game in the children’s play area! There was NO cinema and NO movie. Even the large screen on the pool deck didn’t offer movies each night as other cruise lines often do. It just offered endless commercials to purchase things on the ship and showed food staff cooking. The ship itinerary was confusing. It didn’t have everything listed on one page like we’ve had in the past. Instead, they used multiple pages to tell what was going on all day on the ship. Not only was it confusing to read and sort out, but I prefer to carry just one piece of paper with me rather than multiple sheets. There weren’t as many opportunities for entertainment on board as we’ve enjoyed on previous ships. They used military time for everything, so you had to convert each activity/meal to know what time it was actually scheduled. The suit jackets on many of the staff were ill-fitting and looked like they hadn’t seen a cleaners in a very long time. Therefore, many of them didn’t look professional. There was an inordinate amount of advertising for the Butcher Cut (an onboard steak restaurant at extra cost). It was advertised GALORE - via intercom, room TV, theater screens at the show each night, theater verbal announcements, waiters coming to your table and standing outside the dining room with placards, etc. Too much! We were surprised that we were charged $70 per person ($140 total) mid-cruise for tips. Our entire table in the dining room, consisting of 8 people, talked about this and were all frustrated about it. None of us had noticed any mention of automatic pre-tipping in our paperwork or on the website. None of us minded tipping when we experienced good service, but to automatically include it WITHOUT telling us and BEFORE the service was rendered and when we mainly experienced BAD service was unacceptable. We all chose to have them remove this expense and told them we would rather tip individually instead. My husband was told on two separate occasions by different Customer Service staff that both tip amounts would be removed from our bill AFTER we disembarked. That sounded strange, but we accepted it as truth. Unfortunately, that expense is STILL on our credit card bill 2 weeks later and we’re contesting it. See above as it pertains to the Excursion staff. Our experience with our Room: When we first arrived in our room, we noticed there was a slot in the bathroom counter for facial tissue but none was present. When we mentioned this to our steward, he said the stewards were told to stop putting facial tissue in the bathrooms. We looked at him incredulously. He finally told us he’d find a way to get us some. He did, but that excuse sounded very strange. Just as an example of the missing WOW factor, the stewards didn’t put chocolates on your pillow or create cute animals out of towels and washcloths every night like other cruise lines do. (Petty in comparison, but this is a detailed list.) When we positioned the handle for the shower water on the coldest temperature possible, the water went from scalding hot so bad that we couldn’t stand it . . . to freezing cold. And back again. Over and over. Shower temperature on other cruise lines has fluctuated as well, but not to this extreme. The carpet was very tired looking. So were the pool towels. On about 5 occasions, our room key did not work. We tried both of them over and over and over again before one would finally open the door. The balcony was wonderful and made up for some of our negative experiences! Thank you to our travel agent for accomplishing this! Bottom line, if you’ve NEVER been on a cruise before, this was a halfway decent cruise for the money if you can handle the lower standards for cleanliness and customer service. If you HAVE been on a cruise though, you will probably NOT enjoy this one because you’ve undoubtedly experienced HIGH standards of excellence with cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Princess. Stick with them! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ever. We even lost weight. That was a first! on our previous trips(not MSC)we each gained 6 kilo's. Food choices are very limited and not at all tasty. For my yogurt (thinned) I had to ask for honey, and then got the tiniest amount imaginable. For lunch I took a hamburger. It was a plain dry piece of pattie without anything else. When I said that there's no trimmings on , the server told me: so what? Evenings were even worse! Dirty overlays on the tables small portions, and no cream with our puddings. Pathetic. Our cabin was not serviced every day.We had to ask for it and then,had to commit to a scheduled time on OUR holiday ! Very little is included in the price. Not even tissues. To get from the harbor to town you have to pay.. Also a first. This was a horrible horrible experience and we wouldn't recommend it for anybody . If this was our first cruise, we wouldn't ever have done it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always ... Read More
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always refill the food before finish. You can take the food with you in your cabin.free Drinking water all the time is available. Remember free fruit juices are only available in breakfast . The show in theatre is amazing. You won't miss any show. You will see all people excited with show and no one leaves before the end. The decoration is amazing and modern. The shopping in the ship are not too much expensive. sometimes they make big sales. They clean the cabin twice a day. Nigative: The worst thing in the ship you don't like it is elevators. You will wait longtime. I suggest to use stairs for those they don't have kids. The elevators in the ship have different system. You have to choose which floor you want to go befor coming. It will shows in the screen which elevator you have to take otherwise you don't find any press inside the elevators. Services charge will add during your stay. Sometimes they add something more like photos gallery although you don't ask for it. One thing personally happened to me. I am telling that to warn others Tow sunglasses was disappeared In my cabin. One for me and the other for my wife. I am sure we don't loose them somewhere else. And small amount of local money that I don't put it in safety box. I discovered about my money when I arrived home. I don't expect anyone interested of local money. So be careful with your stuff. I am very sad about my sunglasses. Both of them was a new. One of them worth 400$ (tiffany & co). One of them disappeared the second day of my stay. The other maybe fifth or sixth. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! ... Read More
Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! These were not British people but other nationals one guy took the whole row of sun-beds with the cushions to reserve them this is at 7am arguing with the pool staff who removed them all inclusive drinks are like acetone and if you upgrade to premium package the run out after 3 drinks of your brand ! the buffet well if u like pizza burgers and hotdogs all day and all night this is the ship for you food repetitive and the deserts tiny and limited total chaos on board then theirs the excursions well they cancelled one of my trips booked by accident i went right down within minutes of booking and when i tried to cancel / transfer to another trip on tuesday for Thursday they told me i had to give 48 hours notice ! Well thats 48 hrs and i had booked it seconds ago but no they wanted 50 percent cancellation charge ! So we went on the trip the entertainment is awful for a new boat compared to other new boats who were out standing always some thing to do the boat rocks from side to side all the time even in calm Waters last night the coat hangers battering in the wardrobe drove us insane we had to take them all out so if you get sea sick take some pills With you the casino tiny compared to others i wont cruise msc again was first and the last ncl and royal Caribbean so much better Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in ... Read More
We did the 7 Night Cruise June 2019 Started at Genoa and did France Spain and back to Italy on the Costa Fortuna. Rooms were great like most cruise ships, clean and always well looked after by our stewart. The food was amazing in our eyes , fresh pasta and always nice and hot if your wanting that little extra , the Dinners and Breakfasts in the diffrenet rooms around the ship were fantastic and the atmosphere was also great The ship was easy to get around and plenty to do on board The Casino Staff were great to chat with and always very Friendly Must say that if your after a great fun holiday , it rate this ship 9/10 This was our 12th cruise but first in the Medditerainan and must say we really enjoyed it and would do the same Ship again Hope you enoy like we did Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the ... Read More
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the harbor where we dropped off our suitcases downstairs (everything was clearly marked and staff on hand to help with directions) and boarded quickly and effortlessly. The ship is beautiful and in quiet areas we could still smell the new carpets. We had a balcony cabin (9246), and the bathroom (and especially the shower) is nicer than before - no more shower curtain but a curved door. The hair dryer was fine. I took 2 plastic clothes hangers with for wet clothes to dry with fewer wrinkles. I loved the MSC for Me app - no wifi required, you can check all activities and mark the ones you would like to attend, get reminded about the show, send messages to your friends, it worked great. Table 232 during the early seating (7.30 pm) in the formal dining room was assigned to the 4 of us, and it was perfect - a square table in the back corner with the most amazing waiter - Dede. The service was great, the view perfect, the food was amazing - could not fault anything. The variety was good and portions bigger than before. Every night's menu had healthy options available, but also at least 3 deserts! I took a black cat suit, 1 pair of dressy heels and different jewelry, which was good for 3 dinners, and a LBD for the other 3 and 1 missed dinner when we came back too late in from Barcelona. My husband took a dark suit with white shirt for the 2 formal nights, and dark blue pants with button shirts for the other nights. The pool area was spacious and we received good service from the bars and waiters. We got the drinks package that we could order basically anything up to 10 euros, which was perfect for us. There was a good variety of cocktails, wines, sparkling wines etc. The music at the pools was too loud for my taste, but that's just me. There was also the odd deckchair hog, but most people just took off the stuff and shrugged when confronted when the culprits came back a few hours later. We can learn from the Europeans! The nightly free shows in the theater was very full and quite good. The Cirque du Soleil shows (we saw both!) were amazing! We went for the option of show and cocktail - 15 euro pp and so worth it. Naples - easy walk to the old town with lots of little shops. We took a ferry to Sorrento, walked around (tough walk for good views) and loved it - especially the handmade shoes. Messina, Sicily - we walked to the train station and took a 1 hour train ride to Taormina - spectacular little hilltop town with great views and pretty alleyways. Valletta, Malta - far but easy walk to the old town, which we loved. We got a map that offered 2 walking routes with good descriptions. Felt a little like Dubrovnik. The modern part of town was also beautiful with tree lined streets, clean, with nice green spaces. Barcelona, Spain - got the public bus to La Rambla, walked up to the metro, went to La Sagrada le Familia - we booked tickets in May for 10 am entry. It was amazing. We took the elevator up the one tower and walked down. Stunning. Met up with another cousin and chatted and had tapas and beer until we had to go back to the ship. Amazing day. Marseille, France - The yellow jackets were planning a protest from 2 pm, which we were warned of by a notice placed in our cabins the night before. So we just walked to the old town and took Le Petite Train to the cathedral, which was stunning. It was informative and fun. Back through the old town and back on the ship before anything happened. We received our (correct) bill in our cabin the night before disembarking. As per other reviews, we received an envelope with pictures in our cabin a few days before, which we just returned to our cabin steward, who was amazing, by the way. Back in Genoa, we disembarked with our suitcases at 8.30 am after a breakfast in the fdr and walked 5 mins to the bus station to go to Milan to get a train to Venice. We loved everyday and can absolutely recommend it. The worst of the experience was getting information from the MSC South African staff, which was very frustrating. But the ship and international staff was incredible and restored out faith. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC ... Read More
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC Seaview a try. The price for our family was certainly enticing. In short, here is how we would grade our experience: Price: A Room size and cleanliness: A Food quality: D Entertainment quality: C Itinerary and Time at each port: B If you are looking for a cruise vacation, this is probably not it. If you are looking for a comfortable hotel room and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise would serve you fine. Let be begin with the good. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th floor of the port side. The balcony was great given the weather. We enjoyed sitting on it and watching the sights in and out of the ports. It also gave us extra room which was out of the way while others in our family were getting dressed. The cabin had a queen size bed and a sofa that converted into bunk beds rather than a pull out bed. The bunk beds were a lifesaver with two teenagers and avoided many arguments and complaints. The room was spacious for a cruise ship as was the bathroom and shower. The bathroom had fantastic water pressure which was a great surprise. Our room steward did a great job keeping us supplied with fresh towels and working around our time in the room. The room TV had plenty of stations with maybe 6-7 in each language. However, even the American programming in other languages did not have subtitle capabilities which would have been nice. The English language selections were all 24 hour news stations which included CNN, CNBC and 3-4 European news stations. It is hard to relax and unwind to that before bed. The common area was a bit plain but nice. The elevators utilized a system that directed you to a specific elevator based upon destination. It is meant to speed things up but always resulted in long waits at the elevators. So we ended up going up and down countless flights of stairs each day. The cruise was truly international with what seemed to be a passenger population made up of those speaking Italian, French, Russian, various Asian languages, English, German and Spanish. The staff did a great job being multi lingual, making announcements and communicating fluently in each of those languages. That was impressive. The entertainment encompassed all of those languages which was great. But the shows etc. on board could best be described as “low energy.” If you are doing a Tina Turner tribute show, having dancers and singers dragging through the show with a slow tempo and little smiling just seemed like they were going through the paces. Definitely not Tina Turner like. The other periodic entertainment was excessively campy and seemed like a continual loop of the Gong Show or Sabado Gigante. On our last night, we found a duo playing piano and drums singing in a lounge, and they alternated performance sets with a solo guitarist/vocalist. Both were really good and better than the more featured acts on the ship. I wish we had discovered them earlier... We also walked through a very small casino that was on board. It seemed very sparse and small. It did not have any craps tables which was a first for me in a casino. The cruise itinerary was good and generally allowed sufficient time in each port. There were no dedicated days at sea on this itinerary for which we were grateful. However, at Palma, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, the cruise ports were outside of the city so you were forced to take a taxi or a ship provided shuttle at an extra cost to go into the city. If the cruise line chooses to utilize these ports outside of the destination city, then they should provide transportation into the port city without nickel and diming their passengers for the costs of transportation on the cruise line’s shuttles into the city. My biggest concern about this cruise was the food quality. It was terrible. I tried to be very open minded given the multinational nature of the cruise but nothing I had of any cuisine was good. All of the food was edible but not good. The food was often cold and bland. We tried both the sit down dining option and the marketplace buffet. Those were the only options at night unless you paid for the three premium restaurant options which we did not. The same food, the same quality and the same temperature seemed to be served at both venues. The only difference is that the sit down dining had more limited options, and we had slow service with a lot of waiting with a waiter who did not even seem to understand her own menu. For those of you that love Pepsi, you are in luck as all of the soft drinks on board are Pepsi products. For those of us that don’t, there was always beer. In the dining room we were charged for still water. In the marketplace buffet, we were not charged for still water but they only had 1 working water dispenser for all of the passengers. The plastic cups for your water were limited to 6 ounce cups. It is hard to stay hydrated at that rate. The coffee on the cruise was generally above average. Most of the time we paid for premium coffee at the bars which was worth it to us coffee drinkers. The best we found was that made by “Don” at the Venchi Chocolate and Coffee Bar. It was great and worth the extra charge. Finally, the dining themes were ridiculous. Each night was a different theme in name only. The actual theme seemed to be “Sunday night clean out the household refrigerator”. The dishes were a hodge-podge of whatever seemed to be laying around. For example, the Bavarian theme night was the everyday items plus the addition of a roast pork loin and a cold potato salad. That made it Bavarian night. Nothing else Bavarian was served. On Mexican night, the usual items were supplemented by some puréed avocado and some very julienned pieces of beef mixed with julienned strips of peppers. They called that beef fajitas. That was the sum total of what made it Mexican night. I will give the ship credit that their breads and croissants were made well and tasty. But unfortunately my scale is going to reflect that I lived on mostly bread and coffee while onboard. The part that I find most interesting is that for an Italian cruise line, based in the Mediterranean with multinational passengers, the Italian dishes were the worst offerings. The pizza was bland, soggy and doughy; the pasta was over cooked and soaked in bland tomato or a watery white sauce; and the deserts were basic, unimaginative and tasteless. We could not wait to get off the ship each day to eat at a street vendor, market or restaurant. We were never disappointed with any of the food we found on land. In summary, if you are looking for a comfortable place to sleep and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise will serve you well. If you are looking for the whole cruise experience to include great food and entertainment, look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that ... Read More
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that were more expensive than travelling with taxi. We wanted a new ship, that offers better comfort and instead we ended up in a crowded, smelly, full of leaks and unsanitary place. The worst thing was that they gave us spoiled food for dinner and my daughter got seek. When we tried to see the ship's doctor they wanted to charge us 100 Euro. They refused to give us any medication, or even a thermometer and the farmacy on bord had nothing helpful. The service was terrible. We waited a long time for our food at dinner, hence the ice cream was always brought melted. The food was terrible and always the same. All the areas of the ship are very crowded, we felt like sardines. None of our request were answerd, although they were simple ones, for example we asked for the children's bed to be folded during the day, since we couldn't move around it in the room. The ship has a systemic liking problem in the hallways and that also made the water pressure very low. The water in the public restrooms is only dropping. I found that very unsanitary. The only good thing was the evening shows. The artists put a lot of work into them and we enjoyed them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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